Top 5 playgrounds for Under 5s (around Greater Manchester and Cheshire)
Updated: Feb 17
1. Walton Hall, Warrington
We absolutely love Walton Hall and it’s a place we don’t visit enough! The playground here is amazing, especially good for that in between age from 18 months up to about 2.5 when they are desperate to do everything, but are still toddling and not quite ready for the proper climbing frames yet. This place has all the ‘normal’ stuff you would expect, but in addition has the lowest and smallest climbing frame I’ve seen in a playground, perfect for the toddling age, and also has a great roundabout with ‘swing seats' which again makes it just that little bit more accessible for the youngest toddlers. In addition, there are musical instruments, zip wires and a bigger climbing frame for the older ones. The playground also has large grassy area next to it, inside the fencing, good for parents to sit on and supervise once their children are old enough to play independently. This park also has a lovely ‘children’s zoo’ with llama’s and peacocks, a land train, adventure golf and a good cafe.
2. Bruntwood Park, Cheadle
A firm favourite of ours and a park we visit a lot! As well as the usual swings, slide etc, this playground also has a large ‘pirate ship’ type climbing frame surrounded by a sand pit. Great in the summer! For the bigger children there is a big slide, tyre swing, spider web climbing frame and zip wires. There are lovely gardens to wander around too and a good cafe with a large outdoor seating terrace for the summer (or when in local restrictions!)
3. Tatton Park, Cheshire
Another firm favourite but more of a place you can go for a full day out rather than just a trip to the playground. Saying that, this is one of the biggest playgrounds I have visited and has something for all ages! There’s a smaller climbing frame and slide and swings in the younger section, a second bigger climbing frame with a great bridge to run across, various zip wires and our most recent favourite is what I call the ‘in‑between swings’ ‑ big girl swings but with a back on them! These have pretty much given Orlaith the confidence to start swinging on her own! If you visit the Farm there is also a woodland play trail with balancing beams etc which is a great addition to the farm and included in the admission price. Tatton itself in addition to the farm, also has a land train, the mansion and of course the famous gardens, plus lovely walks around the deer park. Look out for special events throughout the year, they do great events at Christmas and Easter, and we attended a luna cinema a couple of years ago and got to meet the Gruffalo :-)
4. Longford Park, Stretford
Easily our most visited park in the local area. I pretend it’s because Orlaith loves it, but really it’s because the cafe here does the best coffee and cake around, (they do a really lovely vegan chocolate cake which Orlaith can have!). Longford Park has two great playgrounds, a pets corner, a fairy trail, lovely gardens to run around in, and as above, a great cafe. The park also has lots of great paths for bikes and scooters. The under 5s playground is fairly large with three sets of swings, two climbing frames, a slide, see saw and lots of those bouncy things! There is also a wooden crocodile structure which Orlaith loves to sit and eat snacks on. There’s a second playground which is for older children but we love to sneak on it if it’s quiet enough, which has zip wires, more swings, a climbing boulder and a slide.
**edit, the under 5s playground is currently closed but still lots to do around the park (Jan 2021) ***
5. Walton Park, Sale
With two playgrounds, a miniature railway and being on the canal so there is also opportunities to feed the ducks, this is a lovely park which we like to visit as an alternative to Longford Park. There is an enclosed under 5s playground which is separate from the ‘big kids’ playground making it safe for the little ones to play without being overran by older children. There are swings, a small climbing frame, small slide and a steel play train frame which is great for role and imaginative play. The larger playground has a climbing wall, zip wires and more swings, including 'baby swings' The miniature railway runs on a Sunday (not in lockdown) and there is also a long boat cafe situated on the canal for your coffee fix! **edit** the small playground is currently closed for repairs but the ‘bigger’ playground is actually probably really good for plus 3s (Jan 2021)